He made sure he picked every single berry off the bushel before he went to the next one. But really? It doesn't even matter, he thought. Forget it. Boegull continued to the next bunch of berries, but was oblivious to the fact that he let the branch fly backward into his friend's face.
This caused Kenan's basket to fall to the ground, scattering his fruity bounty all over the grass. Boegull turned around after a moment. "Oh, oh Kenan, I'm sorry!" He rushed to gather the berries back into the basket as Kenan followed behind.
"No grudge--it's fine," he said, smiling subtly.
"I didn't see you behind me."
"Really, it's alright. It's actually funny in a way," Kenan added on second thought. Just then, a female amoeba was cresting the hill behind them. Boegull turned and recognized her immediately: it was Amoenu's mother. "Hello, Mrs. Amoenu's mom," Boegull shouted. Kenan squinted to see...oh yes, now he remembered her.
"How are you boys doing?" She paused. "I really shouldn't call you boys."
Kenan said, "It's no big deal," and Amoenu's mom turned to face him.
"My name is Kenan."
She nodded. "So how's the picking?" To their surprise, Kenan snatched a berry from the bush and chewed on it for several seconds.
"A bit crunchy--and bitter," he observed. A residual yet fluffy snow still capped every tree and bush around. Spring had just begun, and it was the season for bumbleberry harvesting. It was just a little too early in season.
"Yeah, so much for that bumbleberry pie," noted Boegull, looking into his basket.
"Well you know my aunt would always say," started Kenan, "if the berries are too tart, then make tarts!" It sounded like a yummy idea, even though you have to admit it's pretty corny. Amoenu's mom invited the friends to her house for tarts and brew, and not without Boegull humbly resisting, they finally agreed to it. Kenan was a stellar chef, so he volunteered to serve them.
"Did you find everything you need?" Asked Amoenu's mom. Kenan spit out a "Yup" as he worked to balance the cumbersome flour sack over the bowl. She left him to continue his work.
"Okay, that's enough." Kenan reached for the can of sugar, but knocked over the primrose extract, spilling it on the floor. "Carptoads! I needed that."
Meanwhile, in the next room: "Would you like a drink?" Boegull declined, thankful for the offer. He turned his glance toward the window. A few weeks had passed since Amoenu and Wisenchyme left for their journey. Boegull wasn't lonely or anything like that, but he felt like something was missing.
"What--". He stumbled over his words. "I've never had the audacity to ask you before...if audacity is the right word...but why did Amoenu's father leave?" Amoenu's mom replied without missing a beat, "It's quite a story." Boegull thought he heard contempt in her normally mild voice, but he wasn't sure. Anyway, she went on.
"About twenty years ago, a group of travellers came to our village. I'm not sure who they were, and I never fully understood why they came. They meant to gather followers for their sect, I know that much. They didn't seem dangerous or suspicious. One morning they knocked on our door. Amoenu's father answered it--Lancerli is his name. Anyhow, he answered the door and talked with the visitor for a long while. It was one of the journeyblobs who came from afar. I didn't really pay attention to what they were saying; I was just going about my business. Once they left, I asked him, 'Who was that?'
'Just...a visitor,' he replied. I could tell he was thinking. A few weeks after that, I was walking down a path--you know, that trail with gnarled trees by the baker's confectionery--waiting for Lancerli to join me. When he finally came, he told me that he had to meet with someone.
'I was expecting to spend the day together...' I remember saying.
'Well we're together right now--we still have time together,' he said or something like that. Really I was afraid because he had been meeting with the travelers regularly. I was afraid that I was losing him."
Amoenu's mom took a deep breath.
"I suppose I was right in a way. I don't know if he planned it this way, but several days later he left. I found a letter on my door telling of his departure and why he left...still today, there are some things I don't understand. That hurt me for so long." She was quiet for a time. But then she said, "that's the letter that Amoenu read--the one about the treasure." Boegull wasn't quite sure what to say. Just then, Kenan crept out of the kitchen to announce his spill and how the tarts would be lackluster due to the missing ingredient. But thankfully, Mrs. Amoenu's cooking shipment was scheduled to arrive that day. The primrose extract arrived in time (Slub was the devilvery blob) and the tarts were saved.
Boegull wanted to learn more about this treasure, and he didn't want to wait until Amoenu returned. The truth was that he doubted they would return.